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Florida 40, Sandy 31, Romney 30, Virginia 22, Gainesville 19, Obama 17, Ohio 15, Us 11, Craig 11, Msnbc 11, Manhattan 9, New York 8, North Carolina 8, Nbc 8, Minnesota 7, Meghan Mccain 6, Washington 6, Fema 6, New Jersey 5, Michelle Franzen 4,
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  MSNBC    MSNBC Live    News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news  
   and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.  

    October 28, 2012
    12:00 - 2:00pm PDT  

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election-week broadcast live from nbc's democracy plaza in new york. because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." > this is gainesville, florida, we are here today along with a music festival and hundreds of churchgoers who have come out to vote. but farther north, the one thing that everyone is talking about and justifiably so, the massive hurricane stretching up and down the east coast. hurricane sandy expected to bring life-threatening storm surge to the mid-atlantic coast. coming up, the latest forecast on the storm along with a live report. back in gainesville,
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gainesville, florida, clergy, congressmen, hip hop and gospel artists as well as civil rights activists have come together over the past few hours to get voters to the polls. just a short time ago i talked to a number of folks who have gathered here, nine days before election day. i asked them why they think this thing is going to be so close. >> i think the election here in florida is going to be one of these bush-gore deals. i look for it to be -- >> you're thinking recount? >> i don't know about recount, but -- >> we hope it's about more than 537. >> yes, yes. >> thank you. >> we'll get back to politics in a moment. right now, though, we turn to the latest on hurricane sandy and for that, we've got it all covered here. nbc meteorologist dylan dreyer with the forecast and white house correspondent mike viquiera standing by with the latest on the president who just got a briefing at fema headquarters. and nbc's thanh truong is on the beach in rehoboth, did he dext
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let's start with dylan dreyer with the latest advisory from the national hurricane center. what can you tell us? >> we do still have to deal with a category 1 hurricane at this time. so winds are strong and there's a lot of rain. and this is still a huge storm. but look at how far away it is. it is still about 300 miles east of the carolinas. more than 500 miles to the southeast of new york city. so this storm is still impacting the east coast. and it's so far away. so imagine what's going to happen as it moves closer to shore. we have coastal flood warnings from new england down into the eastern shores of virginia. that's because we are looking at a storm surge up to around four to seven feet. if not higher. that's the type of storm we're dealing with as it moves onshore. it's pushing all that water onshore. and your normal high tide sirk cycle in the mid-atlantic region, that's going to happen at the peak of the storm. so the high tide will be about
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four to seven feet higher than normal. we also have high wind warnings posted across the northeast. stretching back into eastern ohio, wind with the storm, tropical storm-force winds extend more than 500 miles out from the center of this storm. look at how massive it is. it is affecting the entire eastern seaboard pretty much all at the same time. right now the strongest winds are down near salisbury, maryland and down into virginia beach, northeastern north carolina, gusting more than 40 miles per hour. heavy rain has been moving in and out of maryland. you can see the line of dark green and yellows. that's where the heaviest rain is falling. some of it moving onshore. still affecting northeastern north carolina. where we've had several inches of rain already. you see back through pittsburgh. you see the cold front, that's what's moving westward. we've been talking about how unusual the storm is as it backs west, it will draw in the storm. that's why we're going to see this east-to-west movement of a category 1 hurricane. which is almost unheard of.
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and something we haven't seen obviously much of around here so we're looking at the winds to increase throughout the day. the tropical storm-force winds become even higher, up to 60 miles per hour or higher as we go into monday. and monday night, tuesday morning is our timeframe of winds gusting up near 80 miles per hour. winds and rain combined with the leaves on the trees will be our biggest issue. because the ground is soft. with all that rain. we're going to see the potential for the trees to topple over. power outages will obviously be an issue as well. and we will see the power outages lingering through the weekend and perhaps even into at least next week as the clean-up crews try to get to work. craig? >> dylan, thank you so much. of course we'll be checking in with you periodically over the next couple of hours, thank you so much for the latest there on hurricane sandy. the president in washington today. as the northeast braces for hurricane sandy. he spent part of the afternoon at fema headquarters. monitoring the preparations for the arrival of sandy.
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>> this is a serious and big storm. and my first message is to all people across the eastern seaboard, mid-atlantic, going north, that you need to take this very seriously. >> nbc's mike viquiera, live at the white house, we just heard from the president and fema, what else did he have to say? >> well it was interesting, the president decided to did to fema headquarters, a mile south of here from the white house, he said he wanted to give encouragement to the fema workers and get details. and he did, we listened in here, the white house, not only did he make the statement where the prosecute he is was present. but he had a 21-minute briefing. a lot of questions for officials there. he had a state-by-state briefing. among the things he heard, they're expecting a six to 11-foot storm surge in certain areas above ground level. this wind field is going to be felt as far west as the ohio
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valley. the president particularly concerned about power, getting power back to residents along the east coast. he was told that because of lingering high winds, especially along the coastline, workers won't even be able to get to the downed power lines and there inevitably will be downed power lines until wednesday. further inland they won't be able to get to them by thursday. we've heard it could be days at the brightest case scenario before those, the power is restored in some of these hardest-hit areas. the president has altered his campaign schedule. he was to be in florida and then moving on to youngstown, ohio and northern virginia tomorrow. he still goes to florida, although he's leaving a day early to beat the weather. he's leaving out of the white house later this afternoon and then northern virginia end of the campaign stop has been postponed. he's also postponed colorado stop as well. craig? mike viquiera from the white house with the latest on the president's response. mike, thanks so much. we do appreciate that.
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meanwhile, thousands of evacuations have been ordered up and down the east coast. as the storm moves closer to shore. but some have waited and taken advantage of the rising waves. take a look at this. a surfer in cape may, new jersey today, he left the water on his own accord. at least one other surfer, we're told at least one other surfer has had to be rescued. let's go down a little farther down the coast. where nbc's thanh truong is live for us at rehoboth beach. what's the latest there? >> well craig, you can remember when we were coming to you live yesterday, the whole boardwalk, the beach area was packed. take a look now, it's basically empty and look at the ocean behind us, the water getting stirred up pretty well. this is just a taste of what we're going to expect coming through the next 24-36 hours. we're expecting about wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour. storm surge between four to eight feet and up to eight inches of rain as well this area is under a mandatory evacuation
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order. that means about 50,000 people have been told to leave. they have roughly, they have until about 8:00. and at that time, they're going to start closing down the roads and bridges into areas lish rehoboth beach. this is a very popular destination area. yesterday as i mentioned and as you saw, this was packed wall-to-wall people. it looks like a ghost town. businesses are shut down. boarded up. residents and tourists have been streaming out of here all day, heeding the warning. there's going to be widespread power outages, they have roughly 2,000 extra utility workers throughout the region. on standby, anticipating what's going to be probably a very wide situation in terms of power outages. so as this is going, this is just kind of a preview of what we're going to expect. it's supposed to get worse coming in the later hours this evening and we're sure going to be in for a rough night tonight. craig? >> thanh truong with a
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dramatically different picture from the one we saw yesterday. we saw folks cheering and waving in the background. now it's a ghost town. the looming threat from hurricane sandy, up-ending the campaign schedule in the critical last days. the romney campaign has canceled events scheduled for today in virginia. instead romney will be campaigning in ohio and wisconsin tomorrow. this afternoon, romney and his running mate power ryan held a rally in toledo, ohio, governor romney touting his business experience, repeatedly promising to bring back jobs. >> i didn't just read about small business, i didn't just study it in school. i lived small business. i know what it's like to start a business. i want to use the experience to help people get more businesses started, get more jobs, get higher take-home pay.
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as we mentioned, the president in washington, d.c. earlier today. but he will try to leave for florida this afternoon. we're told the obama campaign canceled scheduled events this week. in northern virginia. of course there was supposed to be the rally with bill clinton and prince william county. canceling an event in colorado springs. colorado due to the hurricane as well. meanwhile in battleground ohio, the race now officially a dead heat. this is the latest poll from the cincinnati inquirer and ohio news organization. it shows the president and governor romney tied. at 49-49. you can bet the campaigns are closely watching sandy's path along the east coast. just nine days before the election. sandy may be having some lasting effects in several states. especially in the crucial battleground state of virginia joining me now, christian kabowski. the republican national committee's national press
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secretary. kristen, good afternoon to you. the romney campaign canceling events in the commonwealth today. how worried are you at this point about the storm, and its aftermath affecting the campaign's last days before the election. >> well obviously our primary concern right now has to be the hurricane and all those in its potential path. right now that's what the campaign and the rnc, that's what we're focused on. i know that the campaign are going to be involved in any of the, any kind of efforts that we can be to help those who are affected over the next couple of days. so definitely number one focus has to be those affected by the hurricane. >> let's stay on virginia here, a "washington post" new poll out shows the president has a four-point edge. governor romney had been building momentum. the momentum appears to have dissipat dissipated. what happened in virginia to governor romney's campaign.
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>> i don't agree with what, i think what we've seen over the last several weeks since the first debate is that in virginia as well as states across the country, the governor romney definitely has the momentum. we've seen polls where governor romney is up. we've seen polls that are tied. we've seen polls that have us a couple of points down. i think it is essentially an extremely close race that's going to come down to the wire but we feel very good. if you take a look at what's happening on the ground in virginia with the early vote. one thing that people need to start paying attention to is where the early votes are coming in in northern virginia, right outside of washington, d.c. we've seen the democrat participation in those counts has gone down since 2008 and we've actually ours go up. so that's going to be something that everybody should watch out for over the next couple of days. >> let's talk about quickly, early voting here in florida. yesterday we were in miami, today we're in gainesville,
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in-person early voting started in the sunshine state and i've got to tell you based on the folks i've talked to. based on what i've seen. the gop appears to be in real trouble when it comes to early in-person voting. why is that? >> we're ahead of the obama campaign in absentee and early voting in florida. we're going to continue to be. >> are you talking about early in-person voting? >> we're talking about all of it. we have absentee ballot voting and early in-person voting. essentially what you have going on down there is in several other states, is that you have the democrats going in and taking the voters that are going to typically come out on election day and they're having them vote early. and we're actually doing the opposite. we're actually asking voters to maybe won't come out to the polls on election day. we're focusing our efforts on getting them to the polls early. or to vote absentee when they
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normally wouldn't come out on election day. 6. >> we don't have a great deal of time, but i've got to tell you, i'm not sure which numbers you're quoting which shows the gop has some sort of early voting advantage. but we'll leave it there, our republican national committee national press secretary. thank you for being with us on this sunday afternoon. thank you. will hurricane sandy put election day in peril? we're going to dig deeper into that. and also could the senate, could the senate swap hands? the republicans say they have a plan. we'll show you what the plan is and the reverend jesse jackson is standing about five or six feet away from me in gainesville. he's been rallying troops on the ground as early voting is under way here in florida. can a 30-day-old pluggable febreze make even this old container smell fresh? take a deep breath. describe the room that you're in. i think just like a big, open space.
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nine days until election day. thousands have come to the polls all over florida. as the sunshine state starts early voting. we're coming to you live from gainesville, florida. on this sunday afternoon. as dozens of churches have brought in voters by the busload and carload, by the vanload to cast their ballots, it's called souls to the polls. civil rights leader, reverend jesse jackson has been an active participant in souls to the polls for some time. thank you for joining us. >> the attempt to purge voters and the suppression schemes have had the impact of waking people up. the impacts of puleople. >> you think that some of the voter restrictions, some of the
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voter i.d. laws, it sounds as if you think it's had an adverse effect. >> i was at north carolina central in durham on friday, maybe 2,000 students voted, because they can vote on campus the same day in north carolina. and today they're voting in orlando and now here in gainesville. people took it kind of light in 2010. but they're all the way live in 2012. >> what type of effect if any do you think that the hurricane is going to have on the election? >> it seemed like something were trying to outrun the hurricane. trying to vote in front of it. even if the worst comes, it will not last until november 6th, for example. i think when the record is out there, are we better off than four years ago? four years ago, we lost four million jobs, but have gained five with a swing of nine million votes. >> pell grants who didn't have them then. the auto workers are working
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three shifts in ohio, who did not have those jobs three years ago. soldiers in iraq, 100,000 home now. the president has a record and the more he runs on that record, the more he is gaining strength. he's putting forth in spite of all the attacks, a maturity of judgment and discipline. i think his momentum is growing. >> while i have you here, i'm sure our viewers would be interested in hearing latest on your son, how is he doing? >> it comes and goes, he's back in treatment at mayo. if you're bleeding, you get a band-aid, if you break a leg, you get a splint. but if you not set up an artificial clock. he wants to serve so badly. you have to put his health and stability above all else. no matter what it takes. and i think that he feels the support of so many people. but we'll have to take our time to let him get his full strength
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back. >> reverend jesse jackson, safe travels and appreciate your time. >> thank you. let's go back to virginia, we were just talking about it a few minutes ago. president obama hanging on to a slim four-point lead in the commonwealth over governor romney. according to the latest "washington post" poll. joining me on the state of the race. jo anne reed, managing editor of the grio who was supposed to be with us in florida. >> i'm jealous. >> the latest poll, alex. "washington post" poll, president obama leads about 51% to governor romney's 47%. back in september, the president had a stronger lead, 52% to 44% in virginia. why do you think the governor has been able to close the gap in the commonwealth? >> i think just like you see nationally and a lot of other
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swing states, after a first debate performance in early october for governor romney. he managed to show people kind of a different face than they had seen in a lot of negative advertisements or depicted by president obama and a lot of his allies. you've seen him gain nationally in a lot of swing states just like in virginia. the question is, have enough momentum now to put him over the top and that's kind of the question that everyone is asking themselves nine days out from the election now. >> in virginia, like other states, it can be separated in several states within a state. you've got southwest virginia, you've got hampton roads area and norfolk and the richmond area. you've got the d.c. suburbs, arlington and fairfax and alexandria. let's talk about the democratic shift there, northern virginia to working professionals and minorities. they helped the president in 2008 carry the state. can that part of the state skill secure virginia for president
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obama? >> i think it's true that virginia has been trending more purple toward a blue kind of coloration in the last eight years because of those demographic changes, you are seeing democrats outregistering in the past couple of cycles. republicans, because they've been focusing on those younger, single people who have been moving to virginia. a lot of minorities. >> virginia is becoming more like maryland than it is let's say the carolinas. this is sort of the new south that democrats are targeting for this in future elections. i think romney, like a high school football athlete that was star in high school. you can only live on your past performance for so long and i think the obama people want to live on the debate forever. there's a natural tightening of the race that's going to happen because partisans are coming home in both parties and now it's about getting out your base and the obama campaign is very aggressive about getting out the younger voters in the virginia
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market, as well as minorities. >> we're going to talk about turn-out a little bit later in the show and a the ground game as well. alex, let's talk about the politics of the hurricane. governor romney's website, there's a link to donate to the american red cross as hurricane relief effort. is this, is it politicizing a natural disaster? or showing a compassionate mitt romney? >> well look, i think voters of all stripes basically when you have a potential catastrophe like the hurricane, approaching, they want to see you put aside politics for at least a day or two while the storm approaches and emphasize that people need to, instead of thinking about politics, at least on the eastern seaboard, focus on preparing for the hurricane. it's an appropriate move from the governor and you see president obama doing it now. shifting around his campaign schedule. canceling some events in virginia. you know, particularly i mean there's obviously more onus on obama because he is the president. he's in charge of the country and therefore, in charge of the
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response in many ways. so this is, this is a natural thing and probably a pretty appropriate step for both campaigns. >> alex roarty and joanne reed. we'll have to leave it there and we'll bring you back later in the hour. folks, perhaps you can hear behind me, the gospel music that has filled the air here in gainesville over the past few hours. and also the smell of barbeque ribs, we'll have more on what they're doing here in gainesville to turn out the vote. as they begin early voting here in the sunshine state this weekend. up next, we'll bring you the latest on the path of hurricane sandy. you're watching msnbc. renaissance fairs, haunted houses and nightclubs, he hawks from his bone shop cart. selling bones, skulls and other
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have ever seen. in that part of the country. we'll have more on the 800-mile wide hurricane sandy. coming up in just a few moments. right now back live from gainesville, florida. republicans no are not only fighting for the white house, they're also fighting to regain the senate as well. even if they manage to beat president obama on election day. they'll need to pick up five senate seats to get the upper chamber. how? mark murray, our senior political editor for nbc news joins me to help make sense of it. mark, what races, which states are key for the senate to change hands? >> well craig, you just pointed to the steep hill the republicans have to climb. essentially winning, picking up five senate seats, if democrats end up winning in massachusetts. as the polls sort of indicate. as well as having independent angus king winning in maine and caucusing with democrats. so if republicans need to pick up five. you can look at nebraska, you end up looking at a state like
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north dakota as well as you end up looking at montana, but then they need to win two of three of connecticut, of you end up virginia and so that actually looks at and they end up having to win wisconsin. that shows you that republicans have a pretty tough task. it's a doable task. but it is a very steep challenge. you know, it's very interesting because there are lots of folks who make the argument. a solid argument that had it not been for some of their own missteps, they would probably be in a better position, indiana, one of those examples, the race has been in the headlines all week because of what richard mourdock said about rape and his new endorsement from the indianapolis "star-tribune" for his opponent. >> the situation in indiana with richard mourdock. there's a toss-up race you end up seeing and if somehow the democrats end up winning, joe donnelly beating richard murdoch, that all of a sudden makes that republican magic number six instead of five and then of course, if president
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obama ends up winning re-election. that actually goes from five and six from six to seven, so again, right now, all the momentum, seems to be on democrats holding the senate. we're going to have to wait and watch to see what happens on election night. >> nbc news senior political editor mark murray, as always, thank you for your insights. coming up, rude awakening. an earthquake, an earthquake shakes southern california today. hurricanes on the east coast, an earthquake on the west coast. we bring you the latest on the both of those. hurricane sandy. we take you live to downtown new york for a live update on the ground. where subways are shutting down this evening. you're watching msnbc.
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live event designed to bring souls to the polls. we are at the bo didley community plaza in gainesville, florida. i'm craig melvin, we'll be talking about politics and we'll be talking about whether newspaper endorsements really matter in the final days of the campaign. let's get you caught up on other stories making news right now. an earthquake rattled southern california today. shaking was felt up to 24 miles away, no immediate reports of damage or injuries, though. however there was a typhoon that caused major disruptions in southern china. strong winds and rain caused flight cancellations and left thousands of travelers stranded as well as a result of all that on the west coast. pope benedict asking a crowd in st. peter's square to pray for victims of hurricane sandy. the storm already responsible for 60 deaths in the caribbean as it is making its way toward the u.s. mainland.
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and japanese anti-nuclear protesters are getting in their halloween spirit. costumes like the grim reaper and frankenstein were meant to draw attention to their cause. got some breaking news we want to pass along to you right now with regards to hurricane sandy. am trtrak announcing it will be canceling most train service for monday throughout the northeast, ahead of hurricane sandy. a number of airports, a number of airlines have already done the same thing. we of course continue to keep a very close eye on the massive storm. which stretches more than 800 miles from the east coast to the great lakes, sandy could bring record flooding along with heavy wind. heavy rain. power outages of course. a mandatory evacuation has already been ordered for the low-lying parts. many of the low-lying parts of new york city. nbc's michelle franzen joining me live from lower manhattan. michelle, are you in one of the evacuation areas right now?
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>> we are, craig. we're in the zone a of the battery park city area that is known as the evacuation area. just one of the areas in manhattan that is going to be evacuated as well as along the other boroughs. the zone a affecting about 375,000 people in new york city. along the area. schools are also closed here in manhattan tomorrow. new york city's mayor michael bloomberg making that announcement earlier today. that affects about one million kids. he also said that more than 70 evacuation centers have been set up in and around new york city. there's some hotels down in this area, if you've ever been to battery park city as a tourist or if you live in the area, you know that it is heavily populated area, residential. you've also got the new york stock exchange, a lot of the trading floor. trading floor will be closed again tomorrow as well. also some announcements in new york city, that all broadway shows will be shut down tomorrow. as well as into tuesday. and so a lot of precautions
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taking place here. we're starting to see a little more activity here in battery park city. some people that are starting to pack up and leave. it's a mandatory evacuation, that means some of the power in these buildings, if not all of them is expected to be turned off as well as water. so a lot of preparations, a few more hours as well as the subway system that will be shut down tonight. craig. starting at 7:00. >> michelle franzen from lower manhattan on the mandatory evacuation in low-lying areas and a number of other mandatory evacuations, connecticut, a number of other places in the northeast. when they shut down broadway in new york city, that's a big deal, thank you, michelle. back to politics now. a slew of editorial endorsements out today for both campaigns, president obama picking up some support in key battleground states that include pennsylvania, new hampshire and ohio. the romney campaign also got some get to that in a moment.
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joining me now, democratic strategist, julian epstein of the law group. and the former campaign manager chip saltzman. >> let's start with these endorsements and their significance, do newspaper endorsements really matter at this stage in the race, guys? chip, i'll start with you. >> first of all i'm a little upset that you're in down there with ribs and music and i'm in a studio with stale crackers. newspaper endorsements -- >> those ribs will be good -- >> newspaper endorsements make a difference when something like the "des moines register" which hadn't endorsed a republican since 1972 steps up to the plate and endorses mitt romney in a state that's so close. on the margins something like that matter a little bit. but usually we kind of know
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where our newspapers are on the political spectrum. and they don't make that make a difference, especially compared to what they did 20 years ago. >> julian, i want to put up a snippet from the "des moines register" endorsement of governor romney. read a snippet for our audience at home it says which candidate could forge the compromises in congress to achieve these goals? when the question is framed in those terms, mitt romney emerges as the stronger candidate. again this is the paper that didn't just endorse president obama four years ago, this is where president obama essentially got us started. really caught fire there in iowa. he's admitted that on a number of occasions, is this more symbolic than anything else, julian? >> first i would agree with chip. by the look of where you are, i would rather be where you are than where i am and i'm in miami beach right now. so secondly, i also agree with chip, i don't think newspaper endorsements matter at all.
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regardless of the snippet that you read. if you ask bill bradley who got the de"des moines register" endorsement in 2000, it didn't matter to him. and howard dean, who got a lot of endorsements in 2004, it didn't matter to him. the fundamentals of the election are static. in order for romney to win, he's got to sweep the southeast, including florida, where we are. abc has boem up right now in their poll and north carolina which is also neck and neck. he has to not only win ohio but essentially run the tables. right now, ohio, if you look at about a dozen polls, has obama up by somewhere between two and three points, and there's no precedent for any, given the polling data is that rich, there's no precedent for any candidate coming this late in the campaign from behind. by two to three points. when you've got such, as i say, rich data polling, polling data in the state of ohio right now. >> and chip, here's the thing. here's the thing with ohio. not only is the president up in the buckeye state.
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he's been up from the beginning. governor romney hasn't led at any point in ohio. i've been on the ground in florida for a couple of days, talked to organizers and voters and the president has an advantage with in-person early voting, not as much with absentee and early in-person voting can. governor romney win the white house without ohio and without florida, chip saltzman? >> obviously without florida and without ohio, no. but i think we feel good about where we are in florida. ohio is absolutely ground zero. we can win without ohio, but, boy, is it a tough sled. i don't think i would want to try to get to 270 without ohio. it's ground zero and we know it. >> we talked about newspaper endorsements, i want to talk about something else that turned up in newspapers, from a pro romney super pac. a magazine insert about four and a half million papers today. i think we've got a picture. a lot of folks are calling it a
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mitt-zine. how effective is something like 12-page insert about mitt romney? is that effective at all, julian? is that going to be able to convince any undecided vote sners. >> i don't think so. i think the only thing that's really going to have any impact at this point. i think the race is locked in. and it's locked in as nate silver and others have said, it's locked in with a distinct obama advantage. the thing that, if there's anything that could change it, it will be like major news events like the jobs numbers coming up next friday. where again, i think it's going to be good news for obama. we saw gdp grow 2% in the last quarter. when obama came in, we were at negative 9. that's an 11-point positive swing since obama has been in office in gdp. there's no president in modern history that has presided over an 11-point positive swing. when the jobs numbers come out you'll see between 100,000 and 200,000 jobs a month being created. when obama came in, we were losing 800,000 to a million job
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as month. that's a positive swing of a million job as month. there's no president who has presided over a positive swing of a million jobs a month. the shoes that are left to fall are going to be favorable to obama. >> chip, quickly here last word to you, what's the magic number in the jobs report? is it 150,000? >> if it goes down, it's better for obama. if it goes up, it's tougher for him of the that's about as simple as i know how to say it. >> thank you for keeping it simple. chip salzman. julian epstein, thank you, appreciate your time. coming up in the show, we'll tell you, we'll -- tell you about the weather forecasters are calling hurricane sandy -- an extraordinary storm. stay with msnbc, the place for politics and on this sunday, the place for hurricane coverage as well. and everyone, but her... likes 50% more cash.
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we're back live from bo didley, community plaza in gainesville, florida, where churches from all over the sunshine state have been bringing their souls to the polls on this second day of early voting here in florida. we've spent a little time talking to some early voters here in florida. we'll bring you some of their thoughts on this election coming up in just a bit. politics of course the big story. right now, a story that's just as big, if not bigger. hurricane sandy. we continue to keep a close eye on the hurricane. it's been described as some weather experts i should say, being described as something they've never seen before. we'll talk about that. what if we don't have a winner on election night? our next guest has details on that very possible nightmare scenario. that's on the other side of the break. [ male announcer ] you like who you are...
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nine states, nine have now declared states of emergency as hurricane sandy approaches. meteorologists are describing the hurricane as an extraordinary storm and an extremely serious threat. we'll have much, much more on hurricane sandy in a few moments. i'm craig melvin. we're live in gainesville, florida, in the middle of gospel music fest, old-fashioned cookout and a get out the vote event as well. from 269 to 269 tie to late results on election night. we'll lay out some reasons why we may not have a clear winner on next tuesday night on november 6th. back with me, alex recordity with the "national journal," joy ann reid. alex, let me start with you. there are fears about the 269 electoral vote tie. is that just a doomsday theory at this point? >> it is pretty remote.
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by you just have to acknowledge that with a close election it is not certainly completely out of the realm of possibility. it's interesting, in the case of a tie, it certainly does seem like governor romney would have the advantage, each state delegation in the house has exactly one vote to cast. republicans control a majority already. if you look at estate it state by state, in the unlikely event that occurs, it looks like governor romney has the advantage. >> i have to tell you that idea is a media fantasy and also a fantasy of those who would love to get rid of the electoral college. i hear rumblings who say that would allow americans to go to a straight popular vote, and a lot of media people who would love to cover it. let's keep it real. >> we obviously don't have time
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to get to the electoral college conversation. if you got rid of the electoral college, joy, the candidates where spend their time in ohio, texas, california. >> right now the urban communities get no love at all. i think candidates should come to the most populous states in the union, california and new york. right now they just come there to raise money. just saying. >> we do spend a lot of time talking about iowa. i want to talk about something, alex, something that i've observed in a number of states over the past few months. north carolina, ohio and florida as well, the ground game that the president's folks have managed to put into play, it would seem to me at least based on empirical evidence that the president has quite the advantage on the ground over governor romney. am i making that up? what can you tell me about it? i think that's the perception among most reporters. you have to remember the president has had almost four
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years to prepare for this campaign. governor romney has only been in the general election for a little more than six months. he does have an advantage. the republicans contest that. everyone i've talked to and everyone i've talked to agree they have a much superior ground game than the one john mccain had in 2008 which a lot of people describe as almost nonexistent. they think they've almost closed the gap if not matched the obama ground game. the perception is it seems like it's right. the obama campaign does have a more robust operation on the ground. >> i think, you know -- >> joy ann -- >> go ahead, craig. >> i was going to say, you've got to think in a race that is as close as this one that the turn out to vote effort over the next week or so really could make the difference. >> absolutely. you look at what's going on right behind you and the way the democrats have sort of created an event, almost a carnival around voting because they rely
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so much on running up as much early vote as they can, this year they're adding the that, trying to cut into the republican dominance among absentee. one of the reasons republicans don't ever seem to have a ground game is a lot of what republicans do is they push for absentees and push for votes on election day. i remember in 2004 when i was working on the other side in campaign politics, the bush operation was almost invisible if you looked on the ground. before they showed up was in absentees. this year democrats are trying to close the gap on absentee ballots. now you're seeing the romney campaign trying to push for in-person early votes, it's interesting the two sides are trying to get into each other's game a little bit. >> joy ann, appreciate your insight. wish you could have been here. not a cloud in the sky, 73. >> stop bragging. >> alex, thank you, too. coming up, the very latest
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updates on hurricane sandy's path. also the latest on airline cancellations, am trk cancellations, school cancellations. we've got a whole lot to tell you about with regards to the hurricane. we'll do that. we'll also talk to president obama's team about whether his midwest firewall is in peril. new polls "today" showing a much, much tighter race in the heartland. do you test with this? freestyle lite test strips? i don't see... beep! wow! that didn't take much blood. yeah, and the unique zipwik tab targets the blood and pulls it in. so easy. yep. freestyle lite needs just a third the blood of onetouch ultra. really? so testing is one less thing i have to worry about today. great. call or click today and get strips and a meter free. test easy.
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[ children laughing ] move to the country, and live a long, happy life together where they almost never fight about money. [ dog barks ] because right after they get married, they'll find some retirement people who are paid on salary, not commission. they'll get straightforward guidance and be able to focus on other things, like each other, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. good sunday afternoon. we're coming to you live from bo diddley community plaza here in gainesville, florida. a live look at an early voting celebration of sorts. we'll tell you more about that in just a few moments. gospel music festival. hundreds of church goers who have come out to vote. farther north, though, the one thing that everyone is talking about, the massive hurricane stretching along the east coast. hurricane sandy expected to
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bring life-threatening storm surge to the mid atlantic coast. we'll be getting the very latest on the storm along with a live report here. back here in gainesville the push to connect voters at the bol lot box before election day, earlier i talked to a few folks who came to vote today. >> why vote early? >> when things are important, you give it priority. and this is very important and those folks that don't voted, should feel very bad about themselves. back to politics in just a moment. first we continue to track hurricane sandy. the massive storm taking aim at the east coast. we're already seeing high winds and waves although the storm won't be making landfall until monday night. nbc news meteorologist dylan dreyer in the weather center. let's start with you, dylan.
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how powerful is this storm? i know it's a cat 1. i heard you earlier say we shouldn't read too much into that category 1 characterization. >> not so much that it's just a category 1 storm. this storm is different. it's almost of historical proportions here because of the size, because of the direction it's moving in from east to west and because of just how expansive this storm is, that it's goings to affect so many areas at once. it's unprecedented to deal with these hurricane-force winds extending so far out from the center of the storm and tropical storm force winds extending more that 520 miles out from the center of the storm. it's still very far away and moving to the northeast at this point. it is on track to take that northwest ward turn and that will bring it onshore. whether it's central new jersey, southern new jersey, delaware, it doesn't matter at this point. this is such a huge storm with such a wide wind field extending
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from the center of the storm. right now we have gusts up to 30 miles per hour in atlantic city, new jersey. salisbury, maryland, is seeing wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour. the storm is still hundreds of miles out to sea. that's what's important to note here. we've seen all the power outages down across north carolina and the storm was still 300 miles out to sea. that's kind of an indicator of the damage that we'll see around here. you see the rain back through pittsburgh, that's that stalled front backing to the west. it's actually going to draw in this storm. even though it's not so much going to be a tropical system by the time it makes landfall somewhere in new jersey, it is going to be post tropical, almost a perfect hybrid between a tropical storm and a nor'easter. we don't really have a name for this type of storm. look at the tropical storm force winds extending from southern new england into eastern north carolina. as we go into monday night, those winds above 58 miles per hour will start to move onshore across long island, into new
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jersey and eventually spread westward as we go into monday night and tuesday morning. that's the peak of the storm. monday evening into tuesday morning we'll end up with inland flooding because of the possible 10 to 12 inches of rainfall we can see and we will have to deal with the wind gusts up near 80 miles per hour. a lot of stress on the power lines, the trees. power outages could take days to resolve. that is going to be a major concern moving into the weekend and perhaps into maybe a couple weeks after that. craig? >> a couple weeks after that, dylan dreyer, nbc meteorologist, thank you for that. nine states so far have declared a state of emergency. weather channel meteorologist my seidel watching the approach of that storm front row in point pleasant beach, new jersey. mike, have folks there, have they started the leave? have they been evacuating? >> reporter: there's been a
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mandatory evacuation under way, and it's supposed to be wrapped up by 4:00. there are a lot of people still in town on the boardwalk checking out the surf, checking out what's going on, checking out the media. i think the police are going to start getting them off the streets. just a moment ago, the water -- now the tide is coming back in. we have about three hours until the next high tide. the water came up to here and chased me from the surf. by this morning, the tide only got up to here. and we have three hours to go. that tells you that the storm is drawing closer. we'll have up to an eight-foot surge. over here, the dune line -- the water got close to the dune line last year. it didn't broach the dune line. everything as far as the eye can see up and down this beach front facing the coast has been boarded up. it's a hybrid monster that will go to the south, all models pointing in that direction, south of here towards atlantic city.
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that will pile the water up. these beaches will be under water. there will be sustained surge and more damage from the surge than last year. last year it ripped up the boardwalk in the foreground in front of me. a lot to cover and a lot of time to go through. we're still looking at a landfall at least 24 hours from now. two more high tides tomorrow about 8:00 and tomorrow morning about 8:00, tomorrow morning about 8:00. craig, as you said, front row seats, these are not the cheap seats for this one. we'll be heading back to the cheaper seats tomorrow and get out of harm's way though. >> that's what we like to hear. thank you, sir. mike seidel on the hybrid monster as you dubbed it that is sandy from point pleasant beach, new jersey. thanks again. be safe. topping our political headlines, president obama stopped by fema headquarters this afternoon monitoring preparations for hurricane sandy. he tried to reassure americans. >> the federal government is working effectively with the
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state and local governments. it's going to be very important that populations in all the impacted states take this seriously. listen to your state and local elected officials. my message to the governors as well as to the mayors is anything they need, we will be there. we're going to dut through red tape and not get bogged down with a lot of rules. we want to make sure we're anticipating and leaning forward. >> meanwhile the afternoon governor romney joining his running mate at a rally in toledo, ohio, on their bus tour today. a romney campaign senior advisor also announced a short time ago that the campaign is going to stop sending fund-raising appeals to the northeast states affected by the looming hurricane. florida senator marco rubio's 12-year-old daughter is in this hospital after a golf cart accident in miami yesterday. at the time of the accident the republican senator was on the
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trail campaigning for mitt romney in kissimmee, florida. he learned of the accident after he finished speaking at that event. a statement from the senator's office announced that amanda rubio is in fair condition in the intensive care unit. coming up here in florida, the ballots already piling up with tens of thousands voting this weekend here in the sunshine state. given the lines that we've already seen here on the ground, what is election day going to look like? and are election officials prepared? we'll talk to two of them next. could minnesota -- that's right, minnesota -- could it be in play this election day. we'll talk about that as well. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics and hurricane coverage. ust. legalzoom makes it easy with step-by-step help when completing your personalized document -- or you can even access an attorney to guide you along.
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the national hurricane center says hurricane sandy is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and flooding to the mid atlantic coast. it's a very serious storm which will impact as many as 60 million people. early voting now going full force here in florida. here in alachua county, the "gainesville sun" reporting the county may hit the 5,000 mark in early ballots cast in the first 24 hours of early voting. even more people turned out in the first 24 hours in other counties. 25,000 people have voted in the miami-dade county, duval, leon county. joining me from leon county is ion sancho, brenda snipes, both are election supervisors.
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ion, let me start with you, not just because you're wearing that cool hat. a lot of potential nightmare scenarios in florida, potential nightmare scenarios similar to the controversy back in 2000. do you have any concerns right now about this year's election. ? >> i think we have the longest ballot that we've ever had in our history, and that combined with the reduction in early voting is going to make it hard for us i think to get through the voting process in the same manner that we did in 2008. i think we're going to be able to get through it, but i noi know we're advising people it's goings to be taking longer to vote. be patient and make sure you study your ballot guides before you show up to vote because of the very lengthy constitutional amendments we have on our ballot. so we do think we can survive this, and we did set a record in early voting in leon county yesterday. we're going to set one probably after the first two days.
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>> brenda, let's talk about broward county. i was there in broward county yesterday. there were already incredibly long lines on the first day of early voting. some folks told me they had to wait 1 1/2, 2 hours. with voting -- early voting being reduced by the legislature here from 14 to eight days, do you anticipate these long lines are going to continue? or do you think this is something we're just going to see for the first two days of early voting here? >> well, i think yesterday was an exceptional day for our voters in broward county. it was beautiful weather. it was a saturday and so that i am so proud of the folks in broward because we voted almost 28,000 voters yesterday at the early voting locations. so i don't think our voters are going to let anything deter them. that was absolutely a record for a one-day voting total. today as of 4:00, we had already hit 19,000. i think our voters are
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enthusiastic. i think they're committed and i think they're determined to be a part of this election. >> how about your latest numbers in leon county, ion, compared to four years ago? >> early voting is very, very popular in leon county. the lines have sometimes gone as long as an hour and a half yesterday. but you know what? the atmosphere is so wonderful. it's a real pleasure to watch all these citizens come to exercise their most basic civil right. we're going to get through this fine. we just have to be patient. >> thank you so much, brenda, thanks to you as well. good luck in florida over the next eight days. no pressure, lots of folks around the country here in the sunshine state. >> we are just, of course, nine days out from election day, and polls show the race tightening in the so-called midwest firewall of iowa and wisconsin
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for president obama. it looks like it could be spilling over into nearby minnesota as well where a brand new poll shows president obama with just a three-point edge now over governor romney in a state that is traditionally very blue. joining me now to talk about that minneapolis mayor and democratic national committee vice chair r.t.ridebeck. buzz the obama campaign have a problem in minnesota? >> no. the mayor like me want to pretend it's a swing state so you come and spend a bunch of money. the realist in me says no. if you want to come, we'd love to have you. the reality is there are polls showing us more. i've been all over minnesota in the past few days. campaigning here in the metro area, minneapolis-st. paul, but also northern and southern minnesota and there's really no contest here. the obama campaign never shut down our ground game from 2008.
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we have offices in every corner of the state up and running. the romney campaign literally does haven't a single office. i think they have a staffer or two. they've ignored that state. they certainly don't have the values of minnesota. i've also been in iowa and wisconsin quite a bit and both of them seem pretty good for the president as well. >> mayor, i want to turn to foreign policy really quickly. president obama did an interview with joe and mika that's going to run tomorrow morning in its entirety on "morning joe." this is what he said about the benghazi attacks. take a listen. >> my attitude on this is if we find out that there was a big breakdown and somebody didn't do their job, they'll be held accountable. ultimately as commander in chief i'm responsible. i don't shy away from that responsibility. my number one responsibility is to go after the folks that did
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this and make sure we get them. i have a pretty good track record in doing that. >> how much has the benghazi attack become a political liability for the president as we head into election day, mayor? >> what you just heard there was a rational commander in chief doing what needs to be done to lead a country. that's what he's been doing for four years. that's how he focused on bin laden and focused on how we need to do positive things around the globe. i'm a mayor, too. i know the moment that something happens, a crime for instance even in my own town, you don't always know the facts. you gather the facts and you're not political about it and not jumping up and down holding press conferences. that's what mitt romney did. that's not right. what's right is for the president po say forget the politics. we have a horrible situation involving one of our ambassadors and others that served this country but show the dignity we need to do to make sure we get to the bottom of it. it's not a political issue. it's about trying to have stability in the world. i think the pollicization of all
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of these things is one of the things wrong with our country and one of the things that's right with it is we have a president who is in charge and who is going to get to the bottom of it. >> r.t.rybak, thank you, sir. appreciate your time. >> good luck down there. it's great to see those people voting. coming up, we are going to bring you the very latest updates on hurricane sandy including the latest on airline cancellations. we'll also show you why some in ohio say they feel president obama and mitt romney are running for president of their state. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics and hurricane coverage. ♪ ♪ fly by night away from here ♪ ♪ change my life again ♪ ♪ fly by night, goodbye my dear ♪ ♪ my ship isn't coming ♪ and i just can't pretend oww!
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we're watching this storm that's bearing down on the mid atlantic right now. moments ago new york's mayor michael bloomberg telling city residents in evacuation zones
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that, quote, time is running out to leave their homes. we'll have much more on the storm coming up. first though back to ohio where they have been voting since october 2nd, but as the presidential campaigns are focusing their attention, money and a whole heap of advertising, nbc's john yang tells us voters in the buckeye state really just want it all to be over. >> president obama has a different view. >> reporter: for sue and jack mckitrick, the barrage begins before daybreak. she's undecided. he supports mitt romney. >> the ads are on continuously from 5:00 in the morning until we go to bed at night. >> reporter: an nbc analysis found there's more money being spent in political ads in ohio than in any other state, $185 million so far. that's one-fifth of the national
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total of $907 million, a figure on track to top $1 billion by election day. in columbus more than 6,600 ads just this month. that's 333 per day. for jack mckitrick it's become background noise. >> after awhile it doesn't do a whole lot. >> reporter: the candidates are spending so much time there, it's as if they're running for president of ohio. a total of 37 days since labor day, 22 of them in ohio. why ohio? voters here picked the winner in every election since 1960. no republican has won without it. the urban north heavy with the auto industry leads democratic, the rule south trends republican. >> this could all come down to ohio. >> it's looking like it. >> reporter: paul beck of the ohio state university say ohio
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voters look like america. >> in terms of african-americans, small town people, liberal democrats, conservative republicans, they're all here. >> more than 800,000 ohi ans have already voted. some say they just want to get it over with. >> i'm kind of tired of the commercials. it's good that it's almost over with. >> reporter: almost but not quite. the drum beat is likely too keep up right until election day. craig? >> john yang, thanks to you. coming up we'll stay in the buckeye state because the campaign bus about to make another stop. we'll give you the latest on airline cancellations, mandatory evacuations, school closings as well, everything you need to know about hurricane sandy. that's next here on msnbc. i'm breathing better.
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center says hurricane sandy is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and flooding to the mid atlantic coast. it's a very serious storm. it's going to impact as many as 60 million people, nine states, nine have already declared a state of emergency. i'm krig melvin. we're live today in gainesville, florida. we're covering the crush of early voting here in the sunshine state. we're also, of course, keeping a very close eye on hurricane sandy. right now, though, a quick look at some of the other top stories making news right now. a powerful bomb exploded outside a shrine to a sunni muslim in pakistan. four people killed, dozens hurt. no one has claimed responsibility for the attack. meanwhile in bagdad, a series of attacks and bombings have killed at least 40 people there since saturday. the violence directed at the shiite community comes during a major muslim holiday in iraq and
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proof that an old soul never dies. at 86 years old music legend chuck berry making a comeback. the hall of famer promising to release some new songs, some written as far back as 16 years ago. hurricane sandy bearing down on the east coast right now. the massive storm could bring with it, as we've been mentioning from the national weather service, life-threatening storm surges, somewhere between six and 11 feet. up and down the east coast areas will being evacuated. air travel quickly becoming chaotic. i can personally attest to that. we're live in lower manhattan with nbc's michelle franzen. tom costello standing by at reagan national airport outside d.c., in northern is virginia. michelle, i want to start with you. which areas of new york city are going to have to be evacuated?
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>> craig, it's the areas known as evacuation a. this is zone a. that is the lower part of manhattan. these low lying areas here in battery park city at the southern tip of manhattan south of the world trade center. also in boroughs like brooklyn along the waterline. about 375,000 people living located in that's evacuation zone a. they are being told to leave by 6:00, 7:00 tonight. we have interviewed a few people here today, talked to them. they're packing up their items, heading outside of the city. other people who are located in hotels down here are moving up town to areas there if there are rooms available. so there is a big scramble going on now. it's starting to sort of build in this area. it's been relatively calm here in terms of the weather. we're starting to see a little bit of a change here. a lot of people coming to look at this area. tonight there will be a shift in the sentiment. that's because the mass transit system including buses will shut
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down at 7:00. you have the path system, the underground train system linking new jersey to new york. that shuts down after midnight. the new jersey transit system also included in that. a bit of preparation here beforehand. they are preparing for worst case scenario. earlier today new york's governor cuomo gave us reasons why they are shutting down mass transit. >> it is unsafe to operate the trains in high winds. second, we don't want the equipment damaged. trains are designed to deal with a lot of tough duty. they are not intended to be submerged. i wouldn't want to damage the equipment and then have a real problem getting the system up and running. thirdly, we don't want to encourage people being up and about. we want people staying in their homes. >> you know, new yorkers take everything in stride.
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a lot of people road out irene last year. a lot of those people we talked to today say they're not doing this time around. they get a sense that this is a little bit more serious. also to give you an idea, the new york stock exchange is staying open, be u the physical trading floor in lower manhattan will shut down. also, craig, broadway shows are going dark tomorrow. >> that's when you know it's a big deal in the big apple. michelle franzen, thank you so much for that. let's go to tom costello now, the approaching storm already disrupting air travel on the east coast. tom is at reagan national airport. how many cancellations, how many delays can we expect at this point, sir? >> reporter: we're looking at about 5,500 as of right now. we've got really the winds picking up dramatically in d.c. in the last hour and the temperature has developed. we have about 1,400 flights canceled today, tomorrow about 4,500 flights canceled. that's the big players on the
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east coast, united, delta, us airways, jetblue, all canceling flights as early as tomorrow. the next 24 to 36 hours and be jond as they try to get their planes out of the way of this on coming storm. this is flightaware.com. you can see we've got significant delays right now in philadelphia and also in new york. anywhere from 45 minutes to two-hour delays on inbound traffic. that tells you those planes are having a hard time getting into these cities, and the reason is because of the delays and the wind, and we're already seeing significant cancellations this afternoon and this evening. one more i want to show you, one more website. take a look at flight radar 24.com. that shows you every flight in the air right now over the united states. we are going to see this number or these -- all these planes start to dramatically empty out over the east coast as more and more planes come down and they're grounded out of the way.
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sf you're booked on a flight, you can expect to rebook and you will hopefully see your fee as hand waived. the airlines are promising that. also amtrak up and down the northeast corridor has shut down service from the washington to new york route. behind me you will see we've got quite a bit of activity on the tarmac, quite a bit of planes. i think starting this evening you'll see an empty tarmac behind me. craig, back to you. >> nbc's tom costello from reagan national airport with the latest on air travel or should i say lack thereof. thank you, sir. do appreciate it as always. want to get back to toll ticks now, joined by civil rights legend, if you will, congressman representing georgia's fifth district john lewis. good to see you as always, congressman. you're on stage addressing the crowd here in florida just a short time ago for our viewers who could not see or hear you.
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what did you tell folks here? >> i told the people here that they must never, ever forget our history, that people struggled for the right to vote, that people died and that some of us gave a little blood to make it possible for people to participate in the democratic process. they must vote like they've never voted before. people all across the state need to be prepared to get out and do what they must do. >> do you think some of the attempts to curb early voting, some of the attempts to require photo identification at the polls, do you think some of those attempts have perhaps had an adverse effect? >> i'm convinced that some attempt to circumvent the voting rights act of 1965 to make it hard and difficult for people to participate.
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it's had an unbelievable countereffect. it said to people we're not going to let anybody or anything lock us from going to the polls. being in this state all day today, i tell you, people are fired up and they're ready to vote and they're voting. earlier today i visited two sites and there were very, very long lines. i spoke at four churches earlier. i have seen this period in a long time. it reminded me of the early days of the civil rights movement. >> really? that level of excitement, that level of enthusiasm? >> the people are excited. they're bringing their children. i heard several young people say this is my first time voting and i said thank you, bless you. >> one of the things that has happened here and i saw this yesterday in miami as well. the ground game that the obama campaign seems to have launched -- some have argued
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it's the ground game that's been in place four years ago. how would you describe the ground game? >> the ground game of the obama campaign is well organized. it is from the ground up, not from the top down. and the people have been on the ground, some for a long time, for many months and some for years. these young people and people not so young, they know what they're doing. >> what do you think the likelihood is this thing won't be over on election nights, we still might be counting ballots from cuyahoga county, from down here in florida? >> it is possible. it's really conceivable that it may take a few days after november 6th. i think a great majority of us will like to see it over on november 6th. i think we're going to see a number of people turning out
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that people never thought, never had any idea this many people would be showing up. >> congressman john lewis, always a pleasure, sir. as i told you off camera, you look and sound great. it's like you don't even age. >> thank you, sir. >> congressman john lewis here, one of the thousands in the sunshine state who have been participating in these get out the vote rallies. when you offer free music and offer free food to folks, it's amazing how many will turn out, isn't it? >> it is amazing. it's different. coming up, governor romney, paul ryan getting ready to take the stage in finley, ohio. we will go to the buckeye state when that happens. and also women voters, both campaigns fighting hard for them. we'll tell you what those candidates will have to do to win them over. this is msnbc, the place for politics. copies of my acceptance speech.
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great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners.
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we continue to keep a very close eye on hurricane sandy as the storm bears down on the mid atlantic. we'll update you on the storm in a few minutes. coming live to you from gainesville, florida, as the sunshine state comes out to cast their ballot early. they've been coming out by the tens of thousands here. polls have been showing a wide gender gap over the past few months, quite the chasm. now we're starting to see a shift, especially among women voters. how crucial is their vote going to be in this election? i want to bring in the brain trust, blake zeff, democratic strategist and a contributor to buzz feed. erin mcpike from real clear politics and meagan mccain, an msnbc contributor, also a daily beast columnist. good sunday to all of you. let's talk about the women vote. a new poll showing president obama and governor romney tied now at 47% among women voters
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nationwide, closing that 16-point gap from last month. meagan, what happened to the president's lead with women voters? >> i think what happened is the debates happened. i've been saying a lot i think this election is going to be about much more than just birth control, contraception and abortion. i think as mitt romney has shown himself to be a stronger leader women have really come around. i will say that i do believe this election will be chosen, who the winner is, specifically by women voters. >> jeff, is it just the debates, is that all we're seeing or is there more at play? >> look, i certainly am going to defer to these other people on the panel as to what women want, being that they are women. one thing i think is a challenge for mitt romney and paul ryan when it comes to the women vote and i agree with meagan that it's that much more choice on issues like that. but the problem is when you have comments like mourdock made out
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of indiana and aiken out of missouri where they're talking about rape being a gift from god and things like that, it's not just an inconvenience that's coming from someone who is far out on the for instance. they're actually saying things that are within the mainstream of the republican party. the challenge for mitt romney is how do you divorce yourself from those types of things when your running mate, paul ryan, co-sponsored a bill that aiken sponsored as well with respect to defining different kinds of rape, and holds the position -- the whole entire republican party platform had the position that opposes abortions in all cases. that's goings to be a difficult challenge for them in the closing days even though i agree with meagan that the economy and other issues will be just as important. >> erin mcpike, i understand you're in ohio right now. governor romney joined congressman ryan on the bus tour, you wrote that the race might not just boil down to the
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buckeye state. we've all been talking about that. buff it may boil down to two counties, hamilton county and cuyahoga county. give me the rationale behind that? >> cuyahoga county is where cleveland is, the most populous county in the state. we've got over a million people there and about 900,000 voters there. now, president obama won cuyahoga county over john mccain in 2008 by a larger number of voters than he won the entire state of ohio in 2008. they really want to drive up their numbers there and hold their own in hamilton county where i am now in cincinnati, president obama won hamilton county in 2008. but in the 2010 governors erase, ted strickland, a democrat narrowly lost the county to john kasic, the governor there now. you're seeing the most voters in these two counties. that's really important to them. the obama campaign in ohio is
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telling me they're just basically worried about snow in cleveland on election day because that would drive down their turnout a little bit. they really want to get those numbers out. >> i want to switch gears here for a second meghan mccain. let's talk about the day after the winner is decided. let's go with that. what happens if governor romney loses this thing. what happens to the gop. what type of republican party are we going to see emerge if mitt romney loses the presidential election? >> listen, i'm still hoping for the best that mitt romney will win. i have great faith that i actually do think mitt romney will win in this election cycle. all that being said, anything can happen. i know that just as much as anyone else. if governor romney loses, we're going to have to start reassessing where we are as a party. as your commentator said earlier, statements bied to
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aiken and mourdock, i don't believe they'll define the election. i think they're hurting our relationship with young women voters specifically. i don't think the idea of having raped being talked about by any men, specifically old male politicians that in my opinion have no idea what they're talking about, it is having a negative effect. if we lose this election as republicans, it's specifically because of statements like that. and we need to reexamine what we're doing as a party. >> craig, can i jump in on that? >> go ahead, erin mcpike. you never have to ask permission here. >> i would say in addition to what meagan has said, the hispanic vote will be extremely important if president obama is re-elected. what i would see is that marco rubio, the junior senator from florida will probably lead a big charge to get the republican party to support some form of comprehensive immigration reform. i would assume that many republicans on capitol hill will
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probably go behind him with that so they can look like they're supporting big immigration reform. the other thing i would say is we'll see the fight for 2016 begin right away, whether or not chris christie decides to run for re-election or plot a potential president campaign. i think we'll also see marco rubio make movement in that direction, more republicaning coming off the bench and wanting to make more noise. >> i want to pick up with where you left off with immigration. something the president said to the "des moines register" of the and then on the record, it peeked my interest because he said if he's re-elected immigration reform is going to be the number one priority. that's a big deal. why not run on that in places, especially places like colorado, like florida. why not talk about immigration reform on the campaign trail? >> i think it's a great point. it absolutely is a critical issue, not just to hispanics,
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but many others. the obama campaign will make the case they've been making that argument pretty vociferously, specifically in florida where you are right now. one thing to think about here, and this goes to the previous question about what the republican party looks like after the election is what kind of congress is president obama going to find himself with if, in fact, he wins. megan and erin were talking about the possibility of seeing a republican party that reexamines their position on things. it's also quite likely that you might see a republican party that maybe mitt romney wasn't the right candidate for them and maybe was too moderate. if president obama finds himself with a republican house of representatives, it may be very difficult for him to get these things passed in a second term. >> what do you know? more gridlock. stay right there. brain trust don't go anywhere. when we come back, we'll get a final narrative and what the final narrative will be on
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voters minds when they go to vote on election day. if we have some time, meghan mccain, i want to ask you about what your dad said this morning. you're watching msnbc live from gainesville, florida. it's the final sprint. cleansin? join the counter revolution and switch to olay pro-x. get cleansing results as effective as a $200 system. guaranteed or your money back. olay pro-x.
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new video just in to msnbc of people in lower manhattan packing up and getting out, taking mayor bloomberg's advice. thousands have been ordered out of low-lying parts of the big apple as hurricane sandy sapp approaches. nine states have declared a state of emergency. that massive storm will probably affect roughly 60 million people. 5,500 flights canceled or delayed already. much more of the massive storm coming up. for now we go back to politics. paul ryan has taken the stage in finley, ohio. he and governor romney crisscrossing the buckeye state
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right now. there have been major crowds for the republican nominee, a week and a half, nine days before the election. let's bring in the brain trust. we want to bring back the brain trust for one last time here. blake zeff, erin mcpike, meghan mccain: there we go. guys, give me the narrative there. a week from now, what's the narrative ahead of the election. erin, i'll start with you there in ohio. >> right now we know that the race in ohio is either tied or president obama is leading. i think it's going to be a photo finish in ohio and everywhere. let me tell you what voters are hearing if they're not going to either one of the rallies, that the other side, whether it's mitt romney or president obama is a job killer. basically the voters are hearing they're job killers and the other won't do as much for the middle class. so they have to choose between
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those two things. >> blake, what's your headline? >> i think we're right to focus on ohio. my headline is to the extent of we're moving all the resources over to ohio if you're mitt romney. right now the campaigns can still have that luxury of engaging in a little bit of bluffing and trying to treek out the other side. you mitt romney pretending he has a chance in minnesota, talking big about other states like pennsylvania that they probably aren't going to get. once you get to a week from now and two days out, you have to put your money where your mouth is and put your bets down. i think at that point you're going to see they're putting all their chips in ohio. >> meghan mccain, really quickly, what's your headline? >> two days out i think it's just going to be about who the american public feel most confident is going to lead them in the direction of the future. with president obama's record of the last four years, i think why would we continue on the same path? the definition of insanity is repeating the same action over and over again and expecting specific results.
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hopefully in my fantasy land it's a win for romney. meghan mccain i didn't get to ask you about what your father said this morning. tweet me whether you agree with what he said on cbs's "face the nation." a big thank you to blake zeff,er rin mcpike, meghan mccain. keep it here for the latest on hurricane sandy. thomas roberts up next as our live coverage of this massive storm continues here on msnbc. is this part of your life? freestyle lite test strips? why, are they any... beep! wow, that hardly needs any blood! yeah... and the unique zipwik tab targets the blood and pulls it in. so easy. freestyle lite needs just a third the blood of onetouch ultra. really? yep, which is great for people who use insulin and test a lot. max and i are gonna run out and get them right now. or you can call or click today and get strips and a meter free. test easy.
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